McPHERSON, KAN. – The title of her first book, “Nuts & Bolts,” is very fitting for McPherson College students Jackie Gullion. She is a sophomore in the automotive restoration program and getting ready to publish her first collection of poems, prose, and non-fiction.
Gullion, who is from Fremont, CA, received a Horizon Fund Grant from the college to help her with the cost of publishing the book. The college awards the mini-grants to encourage the development of entrepreneurial ideas among students. McPherson College has awarded more than 250 grants since 2010.
The idea of writing a book did not occur to Gullion until she became a student at the college and began writing letters to her aunt.
“Writing was something I did a lot in high school but I didn’t think I was good at it,” she said. “Then I came here and joined the Rogue Writers. I realized how much I enjoyed writing.”
Through Rogue Writers – the college’s creative writing club – and encouragement from professors, Gullion gained the confidence to start collecting enough work for a book. She is also pursuing a minor in writing and hopes to become the first person at McPherson College to graduate with one.
“I plan to continue writing after I graduate,” she said. “My goal is to publish a book each year. I already have enough for one or two more books.”
Some of her writing reflects her other passion for automobiles, such as this excerpt from a poem: “Remembering the sounds;/drills making music, engines coming to life,/screams of frustration, ones that we can all relate to/nuts and bolts turning/bringing together life of something/we never thought would be resurrected.”
McPherson College was her first and only choice when it came to selecting a college. She received a Phil Hill Scholar in 2020, a scholarship awarded by the Pebble Beach Company Foundation, and serves as president of C.A.R.S. Club, the student organization for auto restoration.
“Some of the writing in the book is about how I feel when I’m driving and the experiences I’ve had as a student in the AR program,” she said. “It’s my meditation moment.”
Gullion hopes to have a book launch party next semester and looks forward to hosting book signings and reading events at local stores and libraries.